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Alex Hynes appointed managing director of ScotRail Alliance

Alex Hynes, the current managing director of Arriva Rail North, is set to be appointed as managing director for ScotRail Alliance and will join the operator later this year.

Hynes will be replacing Phil Verster, who last week announced he would be leaving ScotRail to become managing director of the new East West Rail project, the new fully privatised line between Oxford and Cambridge.

The appointment will have a knock-on effect on the UK rail network as Arriva Rail North, responsible for the Northern rail franchise, will now be looking for its own replacement MD.

“I am delighted to have been appointed to lead the ScotRail Alliance, this cutting-edge arrangement, which brings together the management of ScotRail and Network Rail to deliver the very best for customers,” Hynes said.

“The ScotRail Alliance is delivering one of the largest programmes of investment, change and modernisation since the railway was built. To be part of that, and the plans to vastly improve services and capacity for customers, is hugely exciting for me.”

Hynes will enter ScotRail with a wealth of rail experience, having been Northern’s managing director since August 2013 where he successfully delivered the franchise’s best-ever customer satisfaction scores.

He will hope to maintain his positive record at ScotRail, which has been the centre of much criticism under Verster’s tenure as it looks to handle Network Rail’s large infrastructure upgrade to the Scottish network.

ScotRail’s dip in punctuality due to improvement work led Transport Scotland to demand the introduction a performance improvement plan last autumn. However, the franchise looks to have improved since, noting a third consecutive increase in its PPM earlier this month.

Dominic Booth, managing director at Abellio UK, said: “Alex has a proven track record delivering rail improvement and investment programmes, and is the ideal replacement.

We are currently investing in a fleet of 70 new faster, longer and greener trains, which will transform the rail travel experience of our customers and we are delighted to have Alex in place to lead this work.”

The chief executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, also expressed his pleasure at Hynes leading the ScotRail Alliance.

“This is one of the most pressurised, high-profile roles in the whole railway industry and we look forward to helping him succeed,” Carne said.

A spokesman for Northern said that the operator will make an announcement on Hynes' successor "in due course".

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Michael Still   23/01/2017 at 22:28

Congratulations Alex. A very tuff job ahead but I don't know who else could fill this role. You have certainly left a success story behind you. Will be reading the future of Scotrail with interest. Wishing you all the very best. Michael Still

Alices   24/01/2017 at 00:04

Alex is a good self publicist, that's great for getting promoted. The last Northern franchise employee engagement results were never released, plus stakeholder satisfaction is low ask the PTEs. Northern needs a real deliverer now as staff morale is not good

Lee   24/01/2017 at 08:42

Just what is the 'success story at Northern Michael Still. As a commuter on their trains very little, apart from the livery' has changed for many years. True they did manage to get hold of some more sprinters and pacers but there is little else to shout about. many promises of millions of extra seats per year were made at the start of the Arriva franchise, but these are yet to appear. Wifi on all trains, certainly not on the ones I use, if and when they turn up, which is a bit of a lottery at the moment due to 'unavailability of staff members' who have to try to travel across Manchester City centre in less than 5 minutes. maybe its the 'new' rolling stock which wont appear for another 2-years but then again Pacers are supposed to be being withdrawn in a years time - oh hang on a minute. Dosen't that result in a shortage of rolling stock for a year? Must be the well-motivated staff who seem to be moving between ballots to strike for over-inflation pay rises and or introduction of DOO to protect the jobs of the very members of staff who are so frequently unavailable, resulting in trains being delayed/cancelled yet again! Maybe its a new timetable? perhaps not, as the trains on my line (all Northern operated) appear to be timed to start later and always seem to be 2-minutes late at Leyland every morning for no reason whatsoever? Then again, they do seem to loose time between stations a few miles apart with nothing in between. Still, the latest fare rises in January will pay for the improvements Northern will implement, not sure what they are but I am sure they will be wonderful, Northern and Alex Hynes have said so.

Rob   24/01/2017 at 10:11

Good riddance. Do recall a meeting in Manchester prior to the launch of the N/Powerhouse, Tried three times to ask him a quite important, relevant question; he only finally scurried over introduced himself as I was stood with George Osborne MP.

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